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Chapter 1: Sociological Perspectives

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Christina Truelove

on 10 January 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 1: Sociological Perspectives

Chapter 1: Sociological Perspectives
What is Sociology?
Theoretical Perspectives
Perception - the way your brain interprets an image or event, using the senses. (example: Some people see an old woman, and some see a young woman.
Perspective - the way you interpret the meaning of an image or event; a mental view or outlook (example: the glass is half full vs. half empty)
The Origins of Sociology
What is Sociology?
Get with a partner and come up with three ways that Sociology is different than other social sciences. (Using a book, devices and vocabulary are allowed)
How does this relate to Sociology??
What is Sociology?
Definition: The scientific study of social structure
What is unique about Sociology?
The sociological perspective focuses on the social, or group, level as opposed to the individual
social structure - the patterned interaction of people in social relationships
Members of a group think, feel and behave in similar ways
Sociological Imagination
C. Wright Mills (1959)
The ability of individuals to see the relationship between events in their personal lives and events in their society.
Helps us understand the effects of events on our daily lives (Example: family size)
Questions conventional social wisdom (example: literacy rates)
Auguste Comte (1798-1857)
European sociologist
Father of Sociology
Used scientific observation to study social behavior (positivism)
Distinguished between the study of social stability and order (social statics) and the study of social change (social dynamics)
Harriet Martineau (1802-1876)
Became a popular writer, who outsold Charles Dickens
Wrote Society In America, displaying her feminist beliefs
Believed that there was a link between slavery and the oppression of women
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)
Compared society to a human body: society is made of many parts working together to ensure survival.
Introduced Social Darwinism - survival of the fittest. The poor deserved to be poor and the rich deserved to be rich. Governments should not interfere.
Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Identified several social classes
Believed that there would eventually be two social classes, the bourgeoisie (people that owned the means to make wealth) and the proletariat (people that worked for the bourgeoisie who made only enough money to live on). Then the proletariat would overthrow the bourgeoisie and make a classless society.
Believed capitalism would fail
Founder of Conflict Theory
Emile Durkeim (1858-1917)
Believed individuals were the product of social environment
He was a functionalist.
Introduced the use of statistical techniques in research
Believed that human behavior needs to be explained by social factors as opposed to psychological factors.
Max Weber (1864-1920)
Believed that to understand society, one must put themselves in other's 'shoes' (verstehen)
Identified rationalization (the importance of knowledge, reason and planning) as the primary change made from preindustrial to industrial society
Sociology in America
American sociologists held in high regard.
Greatest development in sociology happened in the U.S.
Jane Addams (1860-1935)
Co-founded Hull House in Chicago to help anyone that needed refuge: immigrants, the sick, the poor, the aged
Focused on the imbalance of power between social classes, women's suffrage and peace movements.
Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 as the only sociologist to receive this honor
W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963)
First African-American to receive a high school diploma at his high school.
First African-American to receive a PhD from Harvard in 1896.
Focused on race relations
Determined to attack the idea of the "Negro Problem" head on and change the White mentality of Blacks in the US and around the world.
Emphasizes the contributions (functions) of each part of a society
Individuals occupy fixed social roles and everyone relies on each other (organic solidarity)
Social change is brought on by disorganization or injustice, an adjustment occurs, and society returns to a state of equilibrium
There is a consensus on values (for example, in the U.S., we value freedom and equal opportunity)
Manifest functions - Intended (School teaches you English, math, science and social studies)
Latent functions - unintended (School teaches you leadership skills and how to make friends)
Conflict Perspective
Emphasizes conflict, competition, change and constraint within a society
Social life is a contest. Who has the most control and power, has the most money, prestige and privilege.
Inequality is due to the struggle over scarce resources
Symbolic Interactionism
Focuses on the actual interaction among people based on mutually understood symbols
symbol - something chosen to represent something else (example: American Flag represents freedom)
individual & society are interdependent
inequality is demonstrated through use of status symbols
Move on to the Chapter 2 Prezi on Research

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